Cats Take Game One From Sooners

MANHATTAN, Kan. Derek Bunker’s two-out grand slam highlighted a six-run fourth inning for Kansas State as the Wildcats scored eight times with two outs on the night in a 10-6 series-opening win over Oklahoma Friday at Tointon Stadium.


With the win, K-State improved to 25-13 overall and 6-7 in Big 12 play, while Oklahoma dropped to 25-15 overall and 5-8 in league play. The win marked the fourth time in the last five years that the Wildcats took the first game of a three-game series with Oklahoma.


Down 3-0 after three and a half innings, K-State erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth off Sooner starter Stephen Porlier, all coming with two outs. After Byron Wiley drew a one-out walk, Nate Tenbrink struck out before Eli Rumler and Tyler Ruch each walked. Eddie Vasquez and Rob Vaughn each then drove in runs with walks to cut the lead to 3-2 before Bunker lifted a 1-1 offering over the wall in left for his first collegiate grand slam to give the Cats a 6-3 lead.


Porlier (5-4) suffered the loss after giving up seven runs on five hits with six walks and seven strikeouts. K-State’s Brad Hutt moved to 7-2 on the season after scattering four runs on six hits with four walks and two strikeouts over 5.1 innings. Justin Murray was solid in relief, going 3.0 innings and giving up two runs on three hits, while closer Daniel Edwards entered the game in the ninth with a four-run lead and got the final two outs of the game.


With the Cats up 6-3, both teams traded runs and K-State then pushed across two runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 9-4 lead. Ruch and Vasquez each had run-scoring singles in the seventh and Paul McCoy’s first collegiate RBI in the eighth gave Kansas State a 10-5 lead after a Sooner solo homer had cut the margin to 9-5.


Aaron Baker’s solo homer in the top of the ninth cut the Wildcat lead to 10-6, chasing Murray from the game. Edwards then entered and struck out one of the two batters he faced for the final two outs.


Oklahoma took a 3-0 lead early after a Ryan Mottern double and an Aaron Reza homer off Hutt had given the Sooners the three-run advantage.


Vasquez, Ruch and Bunker each had two hits to lead the 10-hit Kansas State offense. With their 10 hits on Friday, the Wildcats have now collected 10 or more safeties in each of the last five games.


Kansas State and Oklahoma return to action Saturday with a 2 p.m. game two at Tointon Stadium.